SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - In response to recent mass shootings, Santa Barbara Battalion Chief, Robert Mercado says the Santa Barbara City Fire Department is getting brand new bulletproof vests and helmets.
The gear they currently have is expired and that gear is not cheap – 44 vests and 4 helmets cost $27,000.
Mercado said, fortunately, the department has never had to use the protective gear.
“It’s something that we hope we never have to use, and we haven’t had to use it, but the threat to the community is there so we have to be prepared for this kind of emergency,” said Mercado.
The new tactical gear is being funded by a grant from the Santa Barbara Firefighters Alliance.
The new equipment will be ready for use by the beginning of 2018.